According to a new article on Smithsonian.com, historians want the country to start using a different set of terms when addressing slavery and the Civil War. “The old labels and terms handed down to us from the conservative scholars of the early to mid-20th century no longer reflect the best evidence and arguments,” writes author Michael Landis, claiming that these terms “uphold a white supremacist, sexist interpretation of the past.”
Roll up your pant legs.
So which terms are causing all of this academic consternation? Historian Paul Finkelman thinks we should start by no longer using the word “compromise” to describe deals struck between the South and the Union in the years leading up to war. He feels these legislation packages would be better termed “appeasements.” Okay. Fine. What else?
Scholar Edward Baptist thinks we should do away with terms like “plantations” and “slave owners,” replacing them with alternatives like “labor camps” and “enslavers.”
“Small changes with big implications,” Landis soberly notes.
Jealous of these historians, Landis boldly advocates a term-swap of his own. We should start calling the Union the “United States,” seeing as how the country never ceased to function at any point before or during the Civil War.
To support this logic, the writer recalls the many language changes that we have already adopted:
We no longer call the Civil War “The War Between the States,” nor do we refer to women’s rights activists as “suffragettes,” nor do we call African-Americans “Negroes.” Language has changed before, and I propose that it should change again.
It’s true that we no longer use the terms he lists, but how does that support a proposition for further change? What difference does it make that we no longer call blacks “Negroes?” What political statement is conveyed by “Civil War” that was missing from the previous terminology? The academic left in this country decides at a certain point that a particular piece of language has become offensive, at which time they demand a change. But how does this occur? It doesn’t. They pull out these swaps to outrun their ideological opponents. Oh, you’re still using “War Between the States?” Hmmph. The enlightened among us have, ahem, moved on, sir.
Sorry, but is there still a significant portion of the American population unaware or unconvinced that slavery was evil? And if that segment does exist, are they to be magically converted now that we’re no longer calling a plantation a plantation?
That being a ridiculous proposition, we must assume there are ulterior motives behind these language changes. And once you accept that premise, all of this becomes as clear as crystal. This isn’t about historical accuracy, this is about marginalizing Southern heritage. It’s about making any white person living south of the Mason-Dixon feel guilty about his ancestry. It’s about widening the gap between the races.
Worst of all, it’s an attempt to link the evil of slavery with conservative beliefs in small government and state’s rights. If the left can successfully convince America that conservatism = the Confederacy, their political domination will be complete.
Thankfully, Americans are (save some regrettable exceptions) a little bit smarter than these elitists think. And because these PC changes come to us dishonestly, there’s simply no room for compromise. Appeasement either, for that matter.